Friday, October 17, 2008

The Unofficial Haiku Excuse: I'm not lazy

So it's been a while since I posted my last Haiku Review. It's not that I don't want to. It's not that I've forgotten.

I am not lazy
An offer I can't refuse
awaits when I'm done.

You see, the next movie on my to-do list of the greatest movies ever is really two: The Godfather and The Godfather II. I'll admit, I should have seen these before. They're giants of American cinema, I know, but I'm not that fond of the whole mobster genre. So Coppola's masterpieces remain on my unviewed list, along with The Untouchables and any movie with James Cagney. But I'm determined to get to them ... as soon as I can clear five straight hours from my schedule. Which is easier said than done, as I'll demonstrate. Just check out what I've been doing for the past two weeks:

Sat 10/4: Morning, volunteer at Humane Society event; spend lunchtime at black belt show rehearsal; attend Michigan-Illinois game and try not to vomit; pick up Boy on way home.
Sun 10/5: Afternoon out with the family; remind myself what they look like.
Mon 10/6: Teach day class in morning; assist in evening class.
Tues 10/7: Evening flute choir practice.
Wed 10/8: Attend morning class. How did I get an evening free? Try to make dent in 20 hours of DVR recordings.
Thurs 10/9: Volunteer at humane society. Evening band practice.
Fri 10/10: Attend (and participate briefly in) black belt show.
Sat 10/11: Attend 7-hour TKD seminar; run home, shower, run out to Boy's marching band performance.
Sun 10/12: Spend day picking apples and canning applesauce with friends.
Mon 10/13: Morning day class; evening assisting.
Tues 10/14: No rehearsal tonight! Spend three hours doing groceries and assorted non-fun shopping.
Wed 10/15: Attend morning class; attend meeting for marching band volunteers, then attend critique group meeting in Ann Arbor.
Thurs 10/16: Get hair cut, then volunteer at humane society; evening band practice.
Fri 10/17: Tournament team practice. (I'm tired already just thinking about it.)
Sat 10/18: Nothing scheduled today! So we're going to visit family in Canada.
Sun 10/19: Flute choir concert

Oh, and over that two-week period I also produced the program for the black belt show, played chauffeur to Boy several times, did the laundry and shopping and cooking, kept up the blog, and wrote 3000 words worth of critical essays to accompany the horrible coded sketchtops I complained about last week. Amongst all this, sitting down to make up for my cinematic deficits seems a bit self-indulgent. But it will happen soon, I promise. Give me a chance before you dump a horse's head in my bed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In related grilling news...

Sometimes I like to browse the "strange stories" section of the news networks, just to see what CBS or the AP thinks is strange. And boy oh boy, does it get extremely strange.

Is it coincidence? In my last blog entry, I was writing about how I thought "Outriggers Grill" was a puzzling choice for a restaurant name, because of the challenges inherent in barbecuing out on the open seas. But these folks in California have taken grilling to a whole new level: Sheriff: Family Cremated Mom on BBQ, Kept Benefits.

Evidently, when Mom passed of natural causes, her daughter and grandson decided to cover up her death by putting her in the BBQ pit, lighting up, and then covering it over and planting a tree. (Talk about your green burials!) Oh, but they made sure they had proper "marinating" first, by leaving her in her bedroom for a week before putting her on the grill. (Ack. Sorry, but I can't resist wordplay, no matter how tasteless.) It doesn't look like there was any resentment toward Mom, since the daughter made a necklace out of a piece of her skull. They just wanted to keep collecting the money.

As always with these type of stories, my favorite part is the quote from the authorities. I mean, these guys see it all, so when they think something is strange, it's usually a 10 on the strange-o-meter. Here's the quote: "It gets really weird when you have a piece of mom's skull hanging around your neck," the sheriff said. "I'm not aware of any religion that allows you to burn your family members in the backyard and collect their pension."

Indeed not. And thanks, news media, for pointing out that grilling on a pitching boat isn't the weirdest thing you could be doing with the barbecue.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Word Nerd Wonders: What did you just call that?

So I'm driving down the freeway this weekend, admiring the fall foliage and feeling grateful I only have to deal with Sunday morning traffic, when I see a sign:


Hmm, I think. Sounds like a sports bar, maybe; it's attached to a hotel, so they're trying to get a manly crowd in to eat hot wings and drink beer, increase their customer base outside of hotel guests. "Outrigger" certainly sounds manly, and outdoorsy. I mean, it's OUTside of something, that's manly. And all those Gs: outriGGGrrrrs, GGrrrill, that sure sounds manly, doesn't it?

Wait a minute, my word nerd lobe interjects. Isn't an "outrigger" one of those stabilizing thingies you find on certain kind of boats? I ask TSU, who's my expert on all things naval, and he says yes, you find them on those old Hawaiian/Samoan canoes that traveled the Pacific in olden times. Great. Now I have a mental picture:

So now I'm wondering, how do you grill on that? I mean, it's not big enough for a real manly grill; I don't even think you could fit a hibachi. (TSU replies: those boats were designed for the long haul, they had to cook the food somehow. I countered that even if there was room in the canoe, I didn't think you could manage a grill with all that pitching and rolling on the ocean.)

So I'm getting a totally mixed message from this bar's name.* It's manly, outdoors, and full of GRRRR! It's tough enough to sail the ocean alone in a small canoe! It's too small to cook a really good side of ribs! Oh well. I should have learned by now not to expect businesses to use words that actually make sense.

*To be fair, I actually looked up the place, and if I were 20 years younger and inclined to go out to bars, I might check them out for their live music.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maybe I'm a dingbat, but this is funny:

Or maybe I've just done one too many typesetting jobs....

Photo of the Week--10/6/08

In the summer of 2000 we spent a weekend in Bruges, Belgium (or Brugge, as the locals pronounce it). The city is sometimes called "the Venice of the north"* because of all the canals that wind through the city. The architecture of the city is very quaint and picturesque, with a medieval flavor. (When we visited, there was a law against visible satellite dishes and other modern insults to the architecture, so the illusion of going back in time was pretty strong.) This particular building was our hotel for the weekend; it's one of only two in the city that retain their original wooden facings. It was a lovely place to look out, but since that June weekend was very hot, and it had no air conditioning, it meant we had to open our windows ... above a big puddle of water which made a great hatching ground for mosquitoes. Ick. Still, it was worth it for the view, don't you think?

*I say "sometimes," because Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm are just a few of the other cities who make the claim of being the "Venice of the North." But those pictures will have to wait.